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Cablegate: Russia, Venezuela and Georgia

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #0550 2881601
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 141601Z OCT 08
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8614
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 9751
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 8888
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 3187

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000550

SIPDIS

STATE INR/R/MR; IIP/R/MR; WHA/PD

DEPT PASS USTR

USDOC 4322/MAC/OLAC/JAFEE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR OPRC OIIP ETRD XM XR BR
SUBJECT: RUSSIA, VENEZUELA AND GEORGIA

Russia, Venezuela and Georgia

Commentary by former Ambassador Rubens Barbosa in center-right O
Estado de S. Paulo (10-14) says: "At first sight, it seems difficult
to find common points between these three countries, unless you
consider the geopolitics of oil and authoritarianism of their
presidents...Putin has re-established order, reduced criminality and
resumed an authoritarian tradition that, put on in different ways,
was always present in Russia since Ivan, the Terrible, until now.
The Russian people are now more at ease and calm with hope and
self-esteem recovered and with proud perspective of the country once
becoming again a super power, strengthened by the richness generated
by the high prices of energy (gas and oil)... Neither the European
Union, for strategic reasons derived from the oil and gas dependency
from Russia, nor the U.S., with two military fronts in Afghanistan
and Iraq, have conditions to impose effective sanctions against
Russia in Georgia. The postponement of [Russia's] entrance in the
WTO seems to be the only concrete negative consequence for Russia...
The reconciliation of Moscow with Cuba, the eventual gas
exploitation in Bolivia, the selling of arms and recent agreements
to develop nuclear program and the oil and gas exploitation with
Venezuela represent not only the affirmation of the Russian State
power, but also political and commercial opportunities that Moscow
is taking advantage of . The offer of a naval base made by Hugo
Chavez to Russia will only be another exercise in rhetoric as
opposed to a threat to the national security of the U.S...These
facts represent more of an alert so that the political consequences
of Venezuela's entrance in Mercosul are more closely examined by the
[Brazilian] National Congress."
White

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